Saturday Snippets…2nd July 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “Glory”

Welcome to Saturday Snippets this is one of my favourite posts of the week I learn much from my research and your comments so please keep them coming…

Today’s word prompt is “Glory”…when my muse suggested “Glory” my first thoughts were of food ..no surprises there…lol…the beautiful water spinach called morning glory is one of my favourite stir-fries…but let’s start with a place my hubby wants to visit…

Glory River Kwai…

Glory Bush…

The Glory Bush has spectacular, bright purple flowers…Glory Bush is a member of the Melastomataceae or Senduduk family. Melastomataceae come from tropical and subtropical regions in the world. The family means ‘black mouth’ in Greek. Its fruits stain the mouth black when you eat them. Malaysians prize Senduduk for traditional medicines.

Morning Glory…

One of my favourite side dishes or main dish with rice it is a beautiful vegetable dish that I often eat…

Thai vegetable morning glory

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of  Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • water if required.

Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.

Stirfried Morning Glory
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add water if required and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.
Enjoy!

Morning Glory Birdsong…

Gaelic Glory…

Is a boozy Irish cheddar cheese that contains Irish Creme Liquor…sounds delicious…

Glory Days Springsteen…

Lots of videos today as I am having fun and have an extra 4 weeks here and only scheduled a month ahead not two…

Glory Lily…plant.

Glory Lily is a perennial tropical flowering vine that makes a stunning, exotic house plant. This vining lily will grasp at anything for climbing up. Providing its weak, wispy vines with support will give the tendrils something to cling to…

Such pretty flowers the Glory Lily is a beautiful plant but like many plants, its flowers, leaves and roots are used in tropical medicine to treat many diseases …It has been used in the treatment of gout, infertility, open wounds, snakebite, ulcers, arthritis, cholera, colic, kidney problems, typhus, itching, leprosy, bruises, sprains, haemorrhoids, cancer, impotence, nocturnal emission, smallpox, sexually transmitted diseases, and many types of internal parasites.

Glory B waterfall…

A beautiful waterfall where it is an ideal place to sit and relax…a great little waterfall in Madison, Arizona…

Easy to access the waterfall is a very pretty little waterfall and worth a visit if you are in the area…

The glory of the Snow, Chionodoxa, is one of the first bulbs to flower in spring…

One of the earliest and most beautiful spring-flowering bulbs…once it is established it naturalises well and looks lovely planted among other perennial plants

Glory Lake Holland…

Just 3 and a half hours from Calais, near the small village of Oploo in Holland, you’ll find 12 acres of pure supercharged ‘next-generation’ carp fishing heaven. A picturesque gravel pit as old as the hills, but with all the scientific twists and turns of what Carp Fishing will become over the years to follow… an angler’s delight.

Glory wood Dorking…

Glory Wood and Devil’s Den is a 13-hectare (32-acre) nature reserve southeast of Dorking in Surrey…this wooded site has views over the North and South Downs. The main trees are oak and sweet chestnut and mammals include bats, roe deer, badgers and foxes…it is a nature lovers delight.

The word ” Glory” features in many religious songs…I will finish with this one by John Legend…

Thank you for joining me today for Saturday Snippets…as always I look forward to your comments x

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…The month ahead!

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week as it’s the 1st of July I will be running through what this month will be bringing to the kitchen…or to the world and it may be that it is something which will make a blog post for some of you but I have picked ones which I feel are important or that I and many of you may have an interest in…believe me when I say there are many more I could have chosen …

First on the agenda is Plastic Free Julyof course there are some easy steps we can take although I’m sure many of you do these already but when buying fruit or vegetables opt for loose produce with no packaging and take or buy reusable mesh bags instead…Ditch the cling film and cover your bowl with your leftovers with a plate instead…Beeswax wraps or vegan alternatives are the best way to stop cheese or sandwiches drying out and can easily be moulded around awkwardly shaped items…

Did you know?

Many tea bags are still sealed with non-biodegradable plastic glue? Loose leafed tea is not only higher quality but has less packaging and has a far better flavour if you are only making one cup a tea ball or brewing basket fits the bill…

The Puri Rath Yatra festival will begin on 1st July. It is one of the most famous festivals of Odisha and is even celebrated in other parts of the country. On this day, the devotees pull the chariot of the trinity- Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra. It is a nine-day festival which celebrates the beauty and flavours of India. Here’s a list of recipes that you can make during Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra. Do try out these recipes and let me know which one you liked the most…I have picked two for me to try (when I get home from the UK) Santula/Mixed veg curry and Chhena Poda which is Odisha’s famous traditional dessert. It is a form of fresh roasted homemade cottage cheese baked with sugar.,,it looks and sounds delicious…

https://newsletters.cookpad.com/en/in/newsletter/

1st-31st is National Picnic Month in the Uk…

When tomboy George in “FiveGo Off in a Caravan”  said ” I don’t know why but the meals we have on picnics taste so much better than we have indoors… whatever the weather us Brits love a picnic!

1st-7th July is Clean Beaches Week in the US…

Beautiful beaches should be clean…find a bin or take your rubbish home it isn’t difficult…

3rd July is International Plastic Bag Free World…

I have noticed that plastic bags are creeping back on the scene since covid and they are not all recyclable…I have numerous cloth or reusable [plastic bags in so many places now so I don’t forget and its second nature…

4th-10th July is National BBQ Week in the UK…

What can I say make the most of the sunshine days and dust off the BBQ…food tastes so much better…

7th July is World Chocolate Day…

Chocolate anyone?… Please head over to Norah’s blog and learn how we can teach children about the pleasures of chocolate and more…there are lots of fun facts and history   https://norahcolvin.com/2022/07/01/chocolate-anyone-readilearn/

10th July is International Don’t Step on a Bee Day…

This one flummoxed me a little…it seemed a strange title…however it certainly caught my eye and made me read on…Don’t Step On A Bee Day is observed every year on July 10 in the United Kingdom. Bees have been around for centuries and are closely related to wasps. They are mostly found in every part of the world that has insect-pollinated flowering plants. Bees are essential to our survival and play a big role in balancing our ecosystem. They are great pollinators, produce honey, and give us food. This day marks the importance of the existence of these insects and the work that they do.

Human beekeeping has been practised since the times of ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. Bees have even made an appearance in mythology and folklore from ancient times to the present day.

In honour of these important living creatures, Don’t Step On A Bee Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy and is particularly celebrated in the United States and the United Kingdom. Often misinterpreted as a day that is only focused on not willingly stepping on bees or harming them, the day holds a greater significance. While it is important that one is aware that walking barefoot may increase the chances of a bee sting, it is also necessary to remember the many benefits that bees bring…

11th July is an International Special Day to Raise Awareness of Population Issues.

This event has been celebrated for almost three decades and the aim is to focus the world’s attention on the importance of population issues. The Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended its introduction in 1989.

Sunday, July 17th…World Ice Cream Day

For me, any day is ice cream day…and July has many…a bit of history which shows that ice cream has been around for a long time…

The Persian Empire was known to put snow in a bowl, pour concentrated grape juice over it, and eat it as a treat thousands of years ago. They would climb to mountain tops and harvest the snow from their peaks in the summertime. They would then keep the snow in underground chambers, known as a yachal, to keep it cold from the earth.

Around 697 AD, the Chinese in the Tang Dynasty took to freezing dairy with salt and ice. Although the invention of ice cream dates thousands of years back, many culinary businesses give credit to Antonio Latini from Naples, Italy, who created a milk-based sorbet in the 17th century.

In the U.S., the first ice cream shops were opened by the Quaker Colonists, who brought their ice recipes with them to the new world…Anyone for a cornet or a bowl of ice cream?

24th July is International Tequila Day…

Don’t mind if I do…x

24th July- 7th August is National Marine Week (UK)

National Marine Week is The Wildlife Trusts’ nationwide celebration of all things marine. Despite the name, it lasts 15 fun-filled days to allow for the variation in tide times around the country.

25th-1st August is National Preserving Awareness Week…

Encouraging those that have the skills to take some time to help those that don’t…with the shortages that are here or on the horizon preserving food is something we all should be aware of how to do as it may become a necessity..

26th July is International Day for Mangrove Eco-Systems…

There are many mangrove swamps here and they fascinate me they are eerie and so beautiful.

The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is celebrated every year on 26 July, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.

Thank you for joining me today on the 1st of July…I hope that at least one of these has given those of you who blog an idea for a blog post if so I am happy to promote your post…if not then enjoy your chocolate and a bowl of ice cream and maybe participate in one of these days…Take care see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets…xx

This week in my Kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 8… Spices!

 

Welcome to my store cupboard basics which means it is Friday once again and Spices are something I use every day in one form or another…I am also always on the lookout for new spices…I just adore what a touch of spice does to food…

If you have been following your store cupboards BASICS by now yours should be nearly fully stocked…

The smell of spices always draws me wherever I am and sometimes it is so strong that it makes me cough and my eyes water…but I love it…It is also one way for me to get my kitchen cleared quickly …haha…

Spices are many and varied, they need to be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. As flavours diminish with age then buy in small quantities the only spices I buy in large quantities are those I know I will use quickly…

To make your own mixes is quick and easy and ensures your spices are always fresh…As I go through the spices, I use I will link to recipes where I make my own mixes which are far superior as they contain no preservatives and work out far cheaper than costly spice mixes …

Allspice…This berry has a warm, slightly cinnamon-clove flavour readily available ground and can be used in both sweet and savoury cooking.

Cayenne Pepper…Fiery and piquant this spice is made from dried red hot chillies used sparingly it is excellent added to cheeses dishes, fish, creamy sauces, meat sauces and soups. Added sparingly to these salmon burgers it just lifts the flavour…

Chilli Flakes… 

 

Crushed dried red chillies can be added or sprinkled over many dishes…so easy to make your own just dry fresh red chillies in the sun if you have any or even on a hot radiator and then just crush in a pestle and mortar and store in an airtight jar. Used in many Thai dishes like larb or homemade sausages I have linked to these as it shows how I use many of the spices I have on this post.

Chinese five-spice powder…This is a mixture of star anise, cassia, fennel seeds, cloves and anise pepper again if you have the spices easy to make in minutes. It has quite a strong powerful flavour so use sparingly.

Cinnamon…one of my most used spices it has many uses…I buy the sticks and use whole or ground although you can buy powdered cinnamon ready ground I prefer to do my own. The powder can be used in baking and making spice mixes. The sticks can be added to stews or drinks. This Thai braised Pork is a good example of where I used star anise, cinnamon and Chinese five-spice powder.

Cloves…Available whole or ground these dried flowers buds are used in sweet and savoury dishes…Baked apples, bread sauce they are one of my most used spices. If sing ground use sparingly as it is strong and too much is unpleasant to the palate.

Coriander…Available whole or ground I buy large packs as I use it often…It is the basis in my Indian spices and curries…

Cumin…Warm and pungent cumin works well with most meats particularly lamb again one of my favourite spices and one I use a lot.

Fennel Seeds…These little green seeds have quite a sweet aniseed like flavour that goes well with chicken and fish and again I use when making Indian spice mixes.

Garam Masala…Ground and roasted spices make this mixture which is used in many Asian dishes. Available ready mixed but if you have the spices so easy to make your own and the flavour is much better. My recipe where you can see my use of spices…

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamon pods green
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 piece of mace.

Let’s Cook!

Dry roast all your spices individually until warm and fragrant. Leave to cool completely and then grind to a fine powder …I have a little coffee grinder which I use to grind my spices and it works really well prior to that I used a pestle and mortar which is hard work but brilliant as an arm toner.

Store in an airtight container and use within 3 months as the spice will start to lose its potency …If you use a lot of gamma masala then just double or treble the quantities.

Ginger…This ground dried spice is useful for baking although for savoury dishes I use fresh root ginger.

Green Cardamon…

The green papery pods contain little black seeds which can be easily crushed and the seeds scraped out.

The green pods, Elettaria cardamomum, also known as “true cardamom,” have the characteristics most recognized as cardamom flavour: a herbal warmth like a fragrant cross between eucalyptus, mint, and pepper—more citrusy than fennel and sweeter than cumin.

It wasn’t until I was looking for green cardamom that I realised why it was harder to find and more expensive than its black cardamom sister…

Mustard Seeds…are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are coloured from yellowish white to black. They are an important spice in many regional foods. Grinding and mixing the seeds with water, vinegar or other liquids creates mustard. Simples said the meercat…

Nutmeg…Is available ground but to me not the same as storing a few whole nutmegs and grating it as required.

Paprika Pepper…Used in many Spanish dishes it is available both mild and hot…It has a slightly sweet flavour and is lovely used as a garnish for a seafood sauce or an egg dish.

Pepper…Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices and should always be used freshly ground as it loses its flavour quickly.

Green peppercorns have a milder flavour and can be found dried or in brine. Fresh green peppercorns are widely used in Thai cooking and one of our favourites.

White peppercorns are hotter than green but less aromatic than black peppercorns but ideal for a sauce if you don’t want the black specks but want a pure white sauce.

Pink Peppercorns seem to be more popular of late…Pink peppercorns are not only pretty, but they also offer a fruitiness along with their peppery bite for a deep, well-rounded pepper flavour. They’re delicate and should be crushed with a knife, rather than a pepper mill, to be used on seafood, poultry, salad, even popcorn, in curries, sauces, chutney, or in place of black pepper for an interesting twist. They are also more expensive.

Star Anise…Earthy, a subtly sweet spice which has a number of uses in savoury cooking, especially in traditional Asian dishes.

Turmeric...Used in many Indian dishes the ground turmeric is made from the dried turmeric root it has a peppery, slightly earthy taste and stains if you are not careful…

Vanilla…Dried vanilla pods are long and black encasing hundreds of tiny black seeds expensive but so worth it…Just make sure what you are buying as there are many inferior products on the market.

vanilla-pods-sugar

I hope you are finding these posts on store cupboard basics helpful…It does take time (and) money to build up a store cupboard which is why I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…Don’t they always though…haha

Until next week when in my store cupboard basics it will be Dried herbs and stock cubes…

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 18…Denmark

 

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of Denmark…

I visited Denmark many years ago now and loved the clean freshness of the food…famous for the smørrebrød which is an open-faced sandwich that is simply a slice of rye bread with various combinations of toppings such as pickled herring, roast beef and eggs topped with mayo and shrimps. This heaped rye bread treat date back to the 19th century.

Here is one of my favourite food bloggers Mark Weins sampling the smørrebrød and the National Dish of ‘stegt flæsk med persillesovs’ with red cabbage…

There is also some family-inspired dining…Danish style…where turkey is on the menu…

Stjerneskud or ‘shooting stars’ is the lesser-known but more extravagant smørrebrød, and one of the Danes’ absolute favourites. Stjerneskud is a slice of rye bread with fried plaice fillet, topped with shrimp, lettuce and caviar from the Limfjord. The best way to enjoy it is in an authentically Danish way, with a cold beer and finished with a shot of snaps…Don’t mind if I do…

The Danish National Dish...a number ago the Danes were asked to vote for their National Dish…The winner was a classic pork recipe ‘stegt flæsk med persillesovs’, The crispy pork with parsley sauce and potatoes is a traditional dish that has been passed down through the years a lovely flavoursome dish with soft pork and that crispy crackling that is to die for with lovely buttery mashed potatoes and parsley sauce…

Meatballs!

The Danes love their meatballs (frikadeller) a popular dish that is served both for lunch and dinner. Traditionally, the meatballs consist of equal parts of veal and pork, flour, milk, eggs, onions and spices, but today there are countless versions of the Danish classic all delicious, meatballs are also a popular smørrebrød topping.

Here is the link to my version of meatballs…

Can you keep a secret? Danish pastries are not really Danish! In Denmark, these world-famous sticky delights are called Vienna Bread (wienerbrød), as they were first made in Denmark in the 1840s by Austrian bakers. But, Danish pastries rose in popularity over the centuries and are now a firm favourite of ordinary Danes.

There are many different types at bakeries throughout the country. Ask for the fantastically named Cinnamon Snail (kanelsnegl) or Seed Snappers (frøsnapper) pastries when out and about and prepare yourself for sticky fingers!…a small price to pay for these delicious pastries…

Denmark and beer often go in the same sentence... not so strange when you consider that no other country in the world produces as much beer in relation to its size and number of inhabitants. In addition to world-renowned Carlsberg, there are also some stunning locally-brewed craft beers brewed at the many microbreweries scattered all over the country.

You should also try to pair your smørrebrød with a shot of snaps which is a traditional Scandinavian spirit. It is a rather strong alcoholic spirit based on aquavit, but it can be infused with many different flavours they are the ideal accompaniment to drink with pickled herrings…

And of course, the most important word to learn for your next trip to Denmark – is Skål!

Thank you for joining me today on this virtual tour of Denmark I hope you enjoyed the tour…x

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Chicken with Mango…

Welcome to my kitchen…It’s time for another Chicken Recipe …Last week …BBQ Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Skewers…was a very popular chicken recipe but chicken does go so very well with fruit and spices…

Chicken is also such a very versatile protein it has little fat(unless we add it)…a healthy alternative to red meat…  low in saturated fat, contains higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids than other animal meats, and is high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals such as B6, B12, iron, zinc, and copper…

Today I am sharing  Chicken with Mango…

I love mangoes and chicken and this is a match made in heaven…Mangoes are plentiful here and I am always looking for ways to use them apart from smoothies and crispy chicken goes really well with the sauce and it has chilli…Enjoy!

For the Mango Sauce:

  • 2 fresh ripe mangos, fruit scooped out (or substitute 2 cups frozen or canned mango)
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and diced, or 1 tsp chilli sauce or 1/2 tsp dried crushed chilli
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, Take out the vein and roll and finely shred.

For the Chicken:

  • 2 to 3 chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch-long pieces or you can cook the chicken breasts whole and slice..1/4 cup oil for pan-frying
  • 1/2 to 1 mango, cut into chunks (to finish the dish) optional.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped to garnish

Let’s Cook! 

Place the 2 ripe mangoes cut into chunks, red chilli, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, turmeric and kaffir lime leaves in a food processor or blender. Blitz well, until more or less smooth.

Taste the sauce.

You should have a balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. Add more sugar if you find the sauce too sour (this will depend on the sweetness of your mangoes). If not spicy enough, add more chilli. If not salty/flavourful enough, add more fish sauce. If too salty or too sweet, add more lime juice. Play with your flavours add a little at a time and keep tasting as you can always add more it is harder to adjust the balance if you have put too much of one thing in…Just keep tasting…

Set to one side.

Now for the chicken...grandkids love it when I do breaded chicken strips and serve with mango sauce…today though I am keeping the breasts whole and coating them in this lovely sauce then baking them in the oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees my oven runs hot(Thai) ovens don’t have a thermostat just low, high and hot the reality is it’s just hot…sigh…I do have a thermostat attached to the one shelf..sort of accurate…ish…sigh.

But chicken breasts cook quickly and shouldn’t take more than 20-25 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of your breasts..if mine is thick then I cut them into two halves down the length.

Brush with the mango sauce and halfway through cooking turn and brush with the sauce and then baste once or twice the remainder of the sauce you can use as a dip with your chicken.

Once cooked then transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh coriander or some lightly pickled vegetables, roast some julienned vegetables or just wash some fresh vegetables and herbs which is the favoured option here then serve with  Thai jasmine-scented rice or rice of your choice.

Enjoy!

Enjoy the rest of your week I hope the  weather is kind to you xxx

Monday Musings…27th June 2022…

I think most of us know by now that ready-made sodas are not good for us…you also know that I dislike waste…here are some delicious ways to make bubbly fruit kvass(a fermented drink) from the fruit scraps that you would normally throw away or if you are really good would compost but the way I look at it is if you can make something to eat or drink from scraps then that has to be good…plus at the same time, you can participate and be part of Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?

https://zerowastechef.com/2022/06/20/save-your-fruit-scraps-to-make-bubbly-fruit-kvass/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=save-your-fruit-scraps-to-make-bubbly-fruit-kvass

Something I have never attempted to make but we do love to eat them...John’s Asian Dumplings look and sound absolutely delicious and kudos to him for making them…

Johns step by step guide is easy to follow so please click the highlighted link below.

https://biteeatrepeat.com/2022/06/23/homemade-asian-dumplings-my-52-in-22-cooking-challenge-has-siu-mai-and-potstickers/

Thank you for joining me today for Monday Musings…I hope you enjoy these recipes and that you will sign up for” Plastic Free July “